Feel at the end of your rope? Welcome to one of the most frustrating issues for the consumer and the technician: the intermittent problem. An intermittent condition is something that only occurs once in a while, and/or without any regularity.
When you bring your vehicle in for testing and analysis, some special rules may come up.
No technician can ever guarantee to find or fix a problem if it is intermittent. First, the technician needs to be able to duplicate the symptoms before he or she can decide what direction to pursue. If your vehicle only shows its intermittent problem once a month, be prepared to hear that the technician can’t find anything wrong. In a case such as this, you may need to wait until it gets worse.
If the problem happens only two or three minutes after first starting it in the morning, don’t expect a technician to find a problem immediately after you drive it to the shop. You may need to arrange to leave the vehicle overnight and then be at the shop in the morning to point out the problem.
Ask your shop for a checklist that you can fill out before bringing your car in for an intermittent repair/analysis. It is easier to have a checklist to follow and note the what, when and how of the situation than to wait until a week later after they are no longer fresh in your memory.
The more information a technician is provided regarding intermittent problems, the better (and cheaper) it may be for you. But keep in mind, if you want the car checked out and the technician cannot find a problem, don’t get angry when it comes time to pay the bill.
Would you spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and work for free? Please don’t ask your technician to either.